Thursday, July 23, 2015

Website Spotlight: Attendant

When a loved one dies,  the last thing you want to think about is ending services for credit cards, Social Security, utilities, etc. Typically speaking family members delay this process and are often charged for unnecessary services. This is a tedious job and can be extremely stressful while grieving for the lost member. A new company cares and understands this and has seen numerous family members deal with the hours of tedious calls and cancellations that are involved. Attendant has created a software platform for consumers so that they do not have to deal with the stress and emotional time spent on canceling.  Consumers can in confidence, work with Attendant for the finalization of your loved one. I had a chance to interview Alex Kruger, founder and CEO of Attendant on this amazing new software that is helping families ease through a difficult transition.

Why is the process of ending services often overlooked when a loved one dies?
If you were to make a list of all of the accounts, subscriptions, institutions, and service providers that you had to cancel, we guarantee you would miss a few. When you imagine having to do that for another person, you might start to feel overwhelmed, especially during an emotionally difficult time. People often overlook these tasks because they’re not ready to think about them. These responsibilities are simple and relatively easy but are hugely time-consuming and tedious to organize. The combination of the sheer weight of work, lack of urgency, and the emotional state of the relatives causes a lot of grieving families to keep pushing it off to the side.
What are some fees that can be incurred if it's not taken care of promptly?
The most common and avoidable fees people encounter are those attached to various memberships and subscriptions. Many of these services will charge the user automatically at the beginning of each payment period. If the subscriptions are not canceled, a family member will often have to go through the trouble of contacting each company and negotiating a refund. A refund may not even be possible depending on the amount of time that has passed.  There are also fees charged by banks for a wide variety of reasons which can be avoided with thorough estate planning. There is also an underestimated threat of identity theft which has the potential to be financially devastating. Deceased individuals are at a higher risk since their information is less protected. While some families who do not have many subscriptions, services, or accounts might get away with losing a small and perhaps negligible amount of money, it is not difficult to imagine a family losing a tremendous amount of money from a combination of fees and identity fraud.
How was Attendant started?
Like most ideas, Attendant started out as a desire to address a need and a feeling that something important was missing. We felt that there weren’t enough companies helping people with the difficult issues that everybody goes through. In fact, we found it a little worrying how little assistance many people receive on the matters they need a great deal of help with. Through personal experience and by observing the experience of others who have lost loved ones, we realized this was a real problem but people were quietly bearing through the process or simply ignoring it. Attendant wanted to find a way to help these people and after some time we were finally able to move from an idea phase to reality after we received strong funding from our investors in Chicago.
How does it help save both time and money?
The time families save is the time they otherwise would be spending waiting on the phone for a representative or filing paperwork. We dramatically decrease the amount of paperwork that needs to be done and nearly completely eliminate the need for any long phone calls. Our services also allows families to feel at ease knowing that the work is being completed for them. In terms of the money they are saving, we help families receive their benefits, prevent extraneous fees, obtain refunds if possible, negotiate bills and debt, and also prevent identity theft. We also ensure that these processes are being completed properly and thoroughly so that so that families do not have to worry about fees or payments surprisingly them later on.

No comments:

Post a Comment